Say Psych: Interview: The Dirt

Manchester’s underground has never been short of bands, but recently a new breed are emerging, none of them more exciting than duo The Dirt. Being less than a year into live performances they have clocked up an impressive number of hours so BSM caught up with them recently to find out what makes them tick.

Firstly guys, thanks for having a chat with me! Tell us a bit about who you are and how you came to be making the tunes.

We are a DIY transglobal marital alt psych duo, The Dirt. Sachiko is from Japan, Jack is from Yorkshire. We are currently based in the Saddleworth foothills of Mossley outside Manchester. The fertile creative breeding ground of the North West! Sachiko creates the sound, the noise and the intrigue – Rickenbacker driven guitar loops and effects with some distortion and reverb. Jack adds the abrasive spoken lyrics with a bit of percussion, the one that can’t stand still… We started creating in 2020 releasing online EPs during the pandemic and eventually got to play live in December 2021…

And from that, tell us, where does the name come from?

Sachiko likes band names that start with ‘The’, Jack is a punk poet aka Leon the Pig Farmer.. The Dirt seemed appropriate and fitting. And absolutely nothing to do with motley crue… we have been asked!

Simple as that hey! You have a unique sound that’s clearly standing out from the crowd, who are your biggest influences?

Sachiko loves late 60s psychedelic. 70s prog and shoegaze which feeds into her playing and the sound. Jack brings his love of gritty post punk and grunge with a soft spot for a social commentator lyricist. Louder than war said Spiritualized meets Suicide… we will take that!

I can hear all of that so I’d say you wear it well. From there then, who writes the music? Do you have a formula for writing or is mostly winging it?  

Sachiko is the musician, Jack writes the lyrics, it’s an equal partnership! Initially Sachiko created some music in one room, and Jack put lyrics from poems to it after. That was the time of ‘Psycher-billy’. But the new stuff is more of a mutual creation both in one room and chatting everything from emotions, atmosphere, beats, cadence, and style. Generally, Sachiko will create a body of music then Jack will weave words through it as the track., usually from his ever-expanding lyric/poetry book.

The energy in the live set is unmatched, do you enjoy playing live? Was that always the goal?

We love it, thanks! The whole process is enjoyable, we are avid gig goers and have been for decades, so it’s nice to step to the other side with enthusiasm and energy. Taking an idea to then performing it in front of folk..  its unreal! Sharing a stage with the closest person to you is something spiritual too.

So tell us about your releases, what’s out there and where can people find it?

At the moment we have some EPs on Bandcamp for download both DIY by us and released stuff. There’s ‘Psycher-billy’ via Golden Believers and an official live bootleg via Rare Vitamin at the Salty Dog in Northwich. There were CD and tapes but both limited editions sold quickly! Next up is a two track single release on 02.12.22 ‘power junkie/// ignorance is bliss’. Our first full album Agitator is due April 2023. That will be vinyl, CD and the full circus release!!

Fantastic, plenty for people to get their teeth into. So, what’s next apart from the releases?

New merch coming in November, we have a t-shirt design that is the a new logo and on the new album and single too. And some gigs until we go to Japan in December. No world domination intentions just yet… just spreading The Dirt word.  We’ve got a right range of locations coming up at festivals and northern cities. Next year we want to raise our game whilst presenting our vinyl baby to the world, play new places, and find space to write new stuff

World domination can wait for now then! And finally, sum up your sound in three words?

Astral – dazed – blues

Love it, thanks guys!

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